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Former FIFA President Blatter calls for Infantino’s suspension

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Swiss authorities said on Thursday that proceedings had been launched against the current FIFA boss by a special prosecutor looking into meetings he had with the Swiss Attorney-General, Michael Lauber.

Lauber and Infantino have, however, denied any wrongdoing.

“For me, the situation is clear that the FIFA ethics committee has to open a case against Mr. Infantino and so it has to suspend him,” Blatter, 84, said in a statement to Reuters.

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FIFA did not immediately reply to a request for comments on Blatter’s statement.

Blatter, who was FIFA president for 17 years, himself was suspended and later banned by FIFA’s ethics committee after he became the subject of criminal proceedings in Switzerland in 2015.

The investigation is still ongoing and Blatter, who has denied any wrongdoing, has not been charged.

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It centred on a payment of two million Swiss francs (1.6 million pounds) made in 2011 to then UEFA President Michel Platini with Blatter’s approval.

Both Blatter and Platini have insisted the payment was for work the Frenchman had done a decade earlier.

Blatter was banned for eight years, but the sentence was reduced to six on appeal, and Platini also for eight years, and reduced to four.

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Platini also denied any wrongdoing.

The FIFA ethics committee is divided into an investigatory and an adjudicatory chamber, which since 2017 have been headed by Colombian Maria Claudia Rojas and Greek Vassilios Skouris respectively.

They replaced Swiss Cornel Borbely and German Hans-Joachim Eckert who were ousted when the decision-making FIFA Council decided not to renew their mandates

 

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Gattuso speaks on Pirlo’s Juventus appointment, says he’s screwed

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Andrea Pirlo

Andrea Pirlo is “screwed now” after being handed the Juventus job, according to former team-mate Gennaro Gattuso.

The legendary midfielder appointed as Under-23s manager last week but on Saturday found himself fast-tracked into the top job following Maurizio Sarri’s sacking.

Sarri lasted just one year with Juventus, paying the price for their shock Champions League exit to Lyon, with Pirlo penning a two-year deal to succeed him.

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Gattuso, now manager at Napoli, said of his former Italy and AC Milan team-mate:

“Well he’s screwed now. That’s the job.

“He’s lucky to be starting at Juventus, but this profession is one where a great playing career is not enough. You have to study, to work hard, and you don’t get much sleep.”

He added:

“Being a player and being a coach is really not the same thing at all. It’s a totally different profession and we can’t learn it just from books, we need to get in there and work hard. It’s a different world.”

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Bale must leave on loan – Former Real Madrid President

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Gareth Bale must look for a solution away from Real Madrid, insists former president Ramon Calderon, who believes a loan move is the best option to part with such “agony”.

“It’s very sad. It’s a pity to see a player like him in the stands… his skill and talent has not gone, he’s still a good player who could be playing at a high level in any team,” Calderon told the BBC.

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“I think they’ll have to find a solution to end this agony for the sake of both sides. If he doesn’t want to reduce his salary, which would be understandable, they’ll have to find another way.

“The coach does not rely on him. If Zidane stays with Real, which I think is certain, then he (Bale) will have to find a new way… It wouldn’t surprise me if they let him go on loan and pay part of the salary.”

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Juventus name Pirlo to replace Sarri

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PIRLO

41-year-old Andrea Pirlo has taken charge at his former side despite never having managed at any level previously.

Goal can confirm that Juventus have named Andrea Pirlo as their new head coach, just hours after sacking Maurizio Sarri.

Pirlo was only named the club’s Under-23 head coach last month but has secured a major promotion before even taking charge of one match with the Serie C outfit.

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It will be a major challenge for the 41-year-old, who has never managed before, either at youth or senior level.

Pirlo returns to Juve having starred for the club between 2011 and 2015.

The midfielder helped lead the Bianconeri to four straight Serie A titles, as well as the final of the 2014–15 Champions League.

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